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MLA Citation Guide (MLA 8th Edition): Citation Software

Citation Software Defined

Citation software can go by many names: citation managers, citation generators, reference management software, bibliographic management tools, etc. While the name may vary, they do have some common elements including the main function of collecting and organizing citations. Most of these software packages also allow for the creation of works cited or references lists in a variety of formats and styles. The ability to integrate with word processing software is a key feature of many of the more popular citation software.

What are citation generators?

Citation generators are tools that automatically create citations for your research materials.

What are citation managers?

Citation managers not only generate citations automatically but also help you collect, organize, store and often share your research materials.

Are citation software products free?

A multitude of citation software exists including free and paid options. RefWorks and EndNote are popular retail citation software in use at colleges and universities. Some popular free software includes Zotero and Mendeley. Note, while these latter are free, they do offer additional features and/or storage for a fee.

Are the citations created by citation software accurate?

As these tools are becoming more popular it is important to note that they have limitations and should not be used in isolation. The University of Nevada, Reno Libraries recommends that all citations should be checked for accuracy using either the MLA or APA citation format.

Does the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries support any reference management software?

The libraries' support two free citation managers: EndNote Basic and Zotero. Click on these links for helpful library guides on how to use these tools. We encourage you to choose whichever one best meets your needs. Check out the comparison charts below to help you make your decision.

The University of Nevada, Reno does not provide access to any of the proprietary citation management tools (e.g., EndNote, RefWorks).

Citation Software Products

Please be aware that automatically generated citations may not provide accurate results. If you choose to use a citation software product, take the time to make the necessary corrections using the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries MLA  online citation guide. Remember: It is your responsibility to double-check the results!

Citation Generators 

Here is a selection of popular citation generators.

Database Cite Tools (ProQuest, EBSCO, etc.)

Example: ProQuest databases

Screenshot of Proquest Cite Tool








Free Online Generators

Microsoft Office

Citation Software Comparisons